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The Blueberry Route - the Véloroute des Bleuets - is a 256 km paved cycling circuit around Saint-Jean Lake, north of Québec City. Spin along flat, easy routes through national parks surrounded by forested peaks. Ride along the sapphire-blue lakeshore, through peaceful farmland and beside glittering rivers. Sample local delights from craft brews to handmade cheese to poutine, Québec's most famous dish. Explore indigenous history, Québecois culture and the Historic Village of Val-Jalbert, a "Company Town of the 1920s." Go whale watching (July is the best time of year!) Ride 'La Route Verte' - the Green Route - alongside the St. Lawrence River into historic Old Québec, where you'll have plenty of time to explore.
Meet in Quebec City. Head north to Alma to begin bicycling the Blueberry Route along the shores of Lac Saint-Jean.
Fly into Quebec City Airport the day before your tour begins. Meet us at either Chateau Laurier or Relais Charles-Alexandre, both within walking distance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Québec (You'll spend two nights here exploring at the end of the week.) This morning shuttle north to Alma at the southeast edge of gorgeous Lac Saint-Jean. With three national parks and a marine park totaling over 1,800 KM (1,000+ square miles) this giant playground is renowned for its outdoor-loving activities. After a bike fitting, take a spin along flat country roads and beside the sapphire blue lake to the town of Dolbeau-Mistassini on the shore of the Mistassibi River. Route: 50 miles
Ride to a blueberry museum, a fromagerie and the nation's oldest Inuit reserve. Explore the museum and cultural site, then continue riding to the 1920s-themed Historic Village of Val-Jalbert.
After breakfast, hop back on your bike to continue your way along the Véloroute des Bleuets. Pedal to Les Délices du Lac-Saint-Jean, a blueberry museum celebrating the region's culinary history. Stop at La Vieille Fromagerie to experience (and sample) a rural cheese factory's hand-crafted wares. Pedal to Mashteuiatsh, the nation's oldest Inuit reserve, where descendants of the Aboriginal peoples have lived for over 6,000 years. Explore the museum's collective exhibit and cultural site celebrating thousands of years of life stories of these nomadic people. Enjoy lunch here. Then continue riding to the Historic Village of Val-Jalbert, a 1920s company town complete with 40 or so original period buildings. Its convent-school, general store, pulp mill and a waterfall taller than Niagara Falls offer plenty more to explore. Stay here tonight in a 20s-themed room with contemporary comforts. Route: 60 miles
Ride from Val-Jalbert to the outdoor-lovers' town of Chicoutimi. Stop to visit to a family of cheesemakers en route.
Ride from Val-Jalbert to Chicoutimi, an old French fur trading post on the banks of the Saguenay River. Now the central borough of the city of Saguenay, it's a mecca for hikers, skiers and other active people. Along the way, visit the cheesemakers at La Fromagerie Lehmann. Taste the family's artisanal cheeses made from milk produced by their little flock of Swiss Brown cows. Back on the bicycle, ride to visit the The Little White House (La Petite Maison Blanche), a symbol of hope and perseverance which survived two floods, standing for four days with waters raging around its foundation. Tonight: stay at Hotel Chicoutimi on the bank of the fjord. Route: 64 miles
Ride from Chicoutimi to La Baie. Ferry to Saint-Rose-du-Nord, then ride the very picturesque shores of the Sainte-Marguerite River to Tadoussac.
Ride east along the Saguenay River to La Baie, third of the Saguenay city boroughs. Pedal onto a ferry and cross to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord on the other side. Bicycle quiet roads through farms and fields bordering the Sainte-Marguerite River, soaking up the views of lakes, forest lands and mountain peaks. Finish today's ride where the river meets the giant St. Lawrence River in Tadoussac. Spend tonight at the Hotel Tadoussac with its red roof and whitewashed walls. Enjoy views of Tadoussac Bay and the St. Lawrence River. Route: 60 miles after ferry
Take a whale-watching cruise this morning. Spend lunch at Montmorency Falls. Ride into Old Quebec on the Corridor du Littoral - the Green Route.
The St. Lawrence estuary at Tadoussac is a gathering place for three types of whales: the fin whale, the mink whale and the giant blue whale. This morning, take a 2-hour whale-watching cruise through the heart of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park to see these majestic mammals. Then shuttle south to Montmorency Falls, just north of Old Québec. The waterfall at the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is an awe-inspiring 83 m/272', a full one and a half times higher than Niagara Falls. Enjoy the stunning views. Then board the telepherique for an unforgettable lunch at the Manoir Montmorency, right next to the falls. Back on the bike, ride 20 miles of the Corridor du Littoral (the 'Green Route') along the shore of the St. Lawrence River right into Old Quebec, a UNESCO world heritage site and the birthplace of the French civilization of North America. Stay tonight and tomorrow at the fabulous Château Laurier Québec on Parliament Hill, within walking distance of Old Québec and the trendy cafés, shops and restaurants of Grande Allée street.
Walking tour of Old Quebec this morning. In the afternoon, take your pick: hike, ride, try out the Route des Via Ferrata, go kayaking, rafting or canyoning.
Take a walking tour of Old Québec with its cobblestone streets and landmarks dating from the 1600s. This is the only North American city whose fortification wall remains intact since the 17th century. Take your pick of restaurants for lunch here (caribou in wine sauce, anyone?) Choose your own adventure in the afternoon: hike, bike, kayak, go canyoning or rafting. Or try out Québec's Route des Via Ferrata - a guided hybrid cross between hiking and climbing. Tonight: enjoy a farewell dinner celebration and one last night at the Château Laurier.
After breakfast, catch a taxi or shuttle back to the airport for your return journey.
This morning you're on your own. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast if you like, then catch a taxi to the airport for your return journey. Or stay on for more explorations of this breathtaking city.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.